By: Sehrish Wasif
ISLAMABAD: The credibility and trust in the police department could be improved by initiating gender-responsive policing (GRP) in the country.
This was the crux of views expressed by speakers at a discussion on the draft of “gender responsive policing policy,” held at a hotel on Thursday.
The dialogue was jointly organised by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Police, Aitebar Programme and the British Department for International Development (DFID).
The speakers also suggested including GRP in the police training curriculum.
They highlighted the key hurdles along the path to inducting more female officers in the police, including inadequate infrastructure, sexual harassment, acceptability by peers and supervisors and male domination of the workplace.
Superintendent of the Islamabad Police (SP) Nighat Haider said that there were many highly-educated women who want to join the police force but lack opportunities.
Haider, who is also the chairperson of the Women Police Network, said that currently there were only 200 policewomen in Islamabad and a post for a female inspector has been lying vacant since 2005.
While sharing the challenges being faced by the women police, she said most of them were deprived of transport and residence facilities, compelling them to reside in hostels. She said that late hours and limited maternity leave were some other issues they were facing.
K-P Home and Tribal Affairs Secretary Akhtar Ali Shah said that there are currently only two women police stations in the province — one in Peshawar and the other in Abbottabad — and strangely since their establishment, not a single case has been registered at either one.
K-P DIG Ehsan Sadiq said that in Pakistan, one of the major reasons behind the shortage of women in police was lack of sensitisation.
“In police training courses, gender and human rights issued are hardly discussed.”